Chiraag Bains named President’s Special Assistant for Criminal Justice; Pronita Gupta for Labor and Workers.
A day after joking that Indian Americans were taking over the US, President Joe Biden has appointed two more to his Domestic Policy Council (DPC) to advise him on Criminal Justice and Labor and Workers.
While Chiraag Bains would serve as Special Assistant to the President for Criminal Justice, Pronita Gupta would do so for Labor and Workers, according to a White House announcement Friday by Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Both of them had served in the administration of former President Barack Obama, when Biden was the Vice President.
List of Indian Americans in the Biden administration (January 2, 2021)
Bains and Gupta join over three dozen Indian-Americans appointed to key posts in the Biden-Harris administration. As members of the President’s staff, they don’t not require Senate confirmation.
“These qualified, impressive, and dedicated individuals reflect the diversity and strength of America and will play critical roles advancing the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to tackling the crises we face and building back our country better,” the White House said announcing 21 new appointments.
Bains was recently the Director of Legal Strategies at Demos, a national public policy organization where he led voting rights litigation and advocacy across the country.
Before that, he was a senior fellow at Harvard Law School and at the Open Society Foundations.
READ: Indian American Pronita Gupta to advise Biden on labor issues (February 16, 2021)
From 2010 to 2017, Bains served in the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, first as a prosecutor of civil rights crimes and then as senior counsel to the Assistant Attorney General.
He was a member of the team that investigated and sued Ferguson, Missouri, for constitutional violations.
Bains clerked for Karen Nelson Moore on the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and Judge Nancy Gertner in the District of Massachusetts.
He graduated from Yale College, the University of Cambridge, and Harvard Law School.
Gupta, who served as deputy director of the Labor Department’s Women’s Bureau in the Obama administration, was till recently the director of job quality for the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP).
Prior to joining CLASP, she served as the deputy director of the Women’s Bureau in the US Department of Labor under President Obama. She also previously served as senior director of programs for the Women Donors Network (WDN) as well as research director for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy.
Gupta also served as research director for SCOPE/AGENDA in Los Angeles, and for the Living Wage Campaign at the LA Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE).
Early in her career she served as executive director of Institute for Southern Studies and legislative director for the US Student Association.
Raised in Rochester, New York, Gupta holds an MPA from Columbia University and a BA in Government from Clark University.
“It’s amazing. Indian — of descent — Americans are taking over the country: you; my Vice President; my speechwriter, Vinay (Reddy),” Biden quipped to NASA engineer Swati Mohan, Thursday.
“And I tell you what. But thank you. You guys are incredible,” he added during a congratulatory call to the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team that landed the Perseverance rover on Mars on Feb. 18.